Management (2009) [Blu-ray]

Genre(s): Comedy / Drama / Romance
Image Entertainment || R - 93 minutes - $35.98 || September 29, 2009
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2009-09-11


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

B L U - R A Y
.:: EXCLUSIVES ::.

Blu-ray Exclusives

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Stephen Belber
Writer(s): Stephen Belber (written by)
Cast: Jennifer Aniston, Steve Zahn, Fred Ward, Woody Harrelson


Theatrical Release Date: May 15, 2009


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Feature Commentary
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Gag Reel
  • Theatrical Trailer


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (1.85)
  • English (DTS-HD MA 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

Plot: It’s lust at first sight for laid-back motel night manager Mike Cranshaw (Steve Zahn) when Sue Claussen (Jennifer Aniston), an uptight sales rep, checks in. Convinced that Sue is his dream girl, Mike shakes up his slacker life in a pursuit across the country. But can he steal her away from her more successful boyfriend (Woody Harrelson)? Both Mike and Sue must go on their own twisted journeys to find out if what they really need is each other.

Management is a fun but fairly clichéd quirky romantic comedy/drama that never quite works despite the peculiar chemistry between Steve Zahn (playing is usual off-beat self seen before) and Jennifer Aniston as a slightly lower keyed version of her Rachel character.

However, the rest of the film doesn’t click, mainly due to a screenplay that goes off into a tangent from that quirky romance at a rundown Arizona motel to Baltimore where Mike stalks his crush, Sue. Sure, Mike is a loveable guy but it doesn’t take away from the fact the man does stalk her across the country based solely on an – invited – ass grab. Mike manages to not only find where she works, show up at her workplace but follow her to a soccer game and stay overnight at her place (because he had no return flight plans...).

The film then goes off into another tangent when Sue decides not to pursue the relationship wanting someone with a more stable professional life (and more grown up). She hooks up with ex-boyfriend Jango (Harrelson), an ex-punk rocker who has made a fortune in the yogurt business. Even though Jango is an ex-punk, he’s also the typical, clear-as-day, asshole guy any viewer knows she cannot end up with, a clear 90 degree alternative to Mike. So one has the success but an a-hole personality while the other is lazily going through life but a magnetic persona.

In the end, the first half of Management is unique, enjoyable and just a quirky rom-com, the second part turns into a typical genre film from the obviously inferior adversary to the steps our hero takes to get the girl back. The picture does get back on track for the ending; it’s not unpredictable but adds an extra twist that you normally don’t see in a genre film.

The movie features some mildly amusing performances from Woody Harrelson and Fred Ward.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Not a whole lot in terms of features, but we do get a funny audio commentary with actor Steve Zahn and director Stephen Belber, 8 deleted scenes (15:17), a gag reel (12:40) and the theatrical trailer (2:32).



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

Management is presented with a 1.85 aspect ratio and in 1080p high-definition. This is not a strikingly gorgeous looking film with its low budget but the picture does look sharp and clean with (purposefully) washed out colors when in Arizona (filmed in Oregon, actually) with better colors when the film goes to Baltimore (Portland, OR).

The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 is acceptable but you really don’t have much to admire. This is a dialogue-heavy movie with only an indie song playing over the opening credits providing any true demonstration of the audio’s strength. But dialogue levels did sound good mixed in with Mychael Danna/Rob Simonsen’s score.



.::OVERALL::.

Management is a part-quirky, part-clichéd romantic dramedy with two good performances from its leads and a heart at its core despite storylines that are potentially creepy if not for Steve Zahn’s instant charisma. The Blu-ray isn’t anything special but does have a nice high-def picture transfer and an acceptable audio track.